Living Trust - Living Trust Will
A living trust will is an estate planning instrument that can be created using a form or software - often available for free.
The purpose of a living trust is to identify and segregate a person's assets during their lifetime and to provide a means of distributing those assets at the time of death. The trust allows a person to control their assets during their lifetime and to provide direction to a designated trustee as to how those assets should be distributed at the time of death. Typically, the person setting up the trust will serve as a co-trustee during his/her lifetime.
A living trust will allows you to transfer your possessions to a trust which then owns them subject to your control. If you acquire new assets after the trust is established, it is necessary to transfer those new assets to the trust in order to benefit from the protection of the trust. At the time of death, the trust's assets will be distributed to the beneficiaries you name without having to go through probate.
A free living trust form can be found on-line. Some of the forms may be based upon a living trust prepared by an experienced attorney. Many pre-paid legal services provide living trust forms. A free living trust form is a good starting point but needs to be adapted and customized to your particular situation. A living trust form also needs to be integrated with an overall estate plan to be the most effective.
A living trust form, when properly filled out, does not in and of itself create the trust. The living trust must be funded with assets such as real estate, bank accounts, automobiles or stock certificates. Title to the designated assets must be specifically transferred to the living trust in order to create the trust.
A free living trust document gives you an outline of the text needed to form a living trust. The document needs to be modified to meet your particular estate planning needs such as estate taxes. A living trust does not, by itself, offer estate tax advantages over a legal will.
A living trust document does not guarantee that the trust will not be contested.
Information on living trust plans and techniques can be obtained on-line. There is living trust software that can be used to get some background information and a living trust form.